Jump to content


Photo

PRG-Soldier Name Generation


  • Please log in to reply
146 replies to this topic

#1 ShadowHawk

ShadowHawk

    Sergeant

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 84 posts

Posted 29 December 2002 - 10:06 PM

One of the cooler parts of the XCOM genre was the personal touch each of your soldiers had. They had character, and developed throughout the game, and it was sometimes sad to see them die.

The chief tool through which this was achieved was to 1) make every soldier effectively unique and 2) give them a personal name.

To make soldiers unique their randomly generated stats and earned rank can distinguish them. We’ll deal with how to specifically generate and improve stats later, when we’re balancing the tactical phase of the game. As an option, it would be nice to allow the human player the option of choosing which soldiers to promote, rather than having it be done through some faceless automated feature – imagine completing a tough tactical mission and being told that you needed to promote one of your privates to a sergeant. Only a human could determine which one he felt most deserving of the promotion, or whatever, further giving a touch to the game. Of course, there could be an automatic option as well.

Further distinctions can be given to soldiers in addition to rank, however, such as special awards or medals that would be displayed with the soldiers rank and basic stats somewhere in the interface. This can be completely automated, to avoid excessive effort by the player. A good example of the kind of implementation of this system is XCOMUTIL’s stat string renaming system, where your troops would be renamed according to their abilities. For example, John Parker would become John Parker/m if he had a high firing accuracy. This helps further characterize the troops (because who wants to look at all the stats for their soldiers) by giving them a quick summary of what makes them special – the medal system I propose is simply a more interesting implementation of that.

As for the second tool, the soldiers names themselves, several things must be considered. Firstly, every name used in a given saved game should be unique (it was frustrating getting duplicately named soldiers before), which would require the creation of a “graveyard” type file for a given saved game to cross reference a generated soldier name with both existing and dead ones. Furthermore, a bunch of small databases containing various male/female names of different countries and such should be created. They should be separated by the style of the names generated (eg: American/German/Japanese) so that we can then control how names correlate with models, as well as how first names correlate with last. Once I get the code roughly working, I’ll open a thread asking for people’s input on various names to use for the databases and such, as well as figuring out the softer parts of the math (eg: what percentage female?)

What follows is some rough pseudocode for some additions to the soldier class that we should create. This class would be used in both the tactical and strategic parts of the game, and will likely become very huge (including subclasses) by the end of the project, as it will basically contain all the functions that a soldier can do.

Class soldier
{
Public:
Char *name; // however large a name array we need.
Int model;    // the image used to represent the soldier

void generate(); // run on generation, calls makename, makemodel, makestats and such

Private:
Bool gender;
Int race;

void makename(); // generates a name for the soldier
void makemodel(); // generates a model consistent with the name
  void makestats(); // generates all initial stats for soldier
};
void soldier::generate()
{
	makename();
makemodel();
	makestats();
}
void soldier::makename()
{
	make some random numbers to determine gender and race variables

	make a determination to see if we want to cross them (ie: American first name but Japanese last name) 	 
open the appropriate database files
	
roll some dice and pick the names
}
void soldier::makemodel()
{
	use gender and race variables to determine which model should be used.

/* we can also have this function use a default value in the interim to select placeholder type of artwork (before we have as many player models as we want, for example).  Or, alternatively, a file could be made and then opened that showed all the possible options and correlated the model number with the available models, such that the code wouldn’t have to be rewritten/recompiled when new player models are added.*/

	destroy race;
	destroy gender;
}
void soldier::generatestats()
{
	make some stats.  

/*Optionally, we could delay destroying gender in makemodel and instead use it to influence the stats here, and then destroy it.  Under no circumstances should we allow race to influence stats…*/
}

Also: the forums don't seem to like the tab key, even in the code section of the posts. Is there a way we can change this?
___________
ShadowHawk
Master of everything

#2 red knight

red knight

    Xenocide Project Leader

  • Xenocide Inactive
  • 3,310 posts

Posted 30 December 2002 - 03:35 AM

Also: the forums don't seem to like the tab key, even in the code section of the posts.  Is there a way we can change this?

I had created a mailing list in Sourceforge for that very same reason, and received the mail approving in yesterday, but didnt had the time to post it (will do it right now)... All code (and programming) should be discussed there... Design Issues in the forum.

Greetings
Red Knight
Sourceforge Nick: flois - Federico Andres Lois
Visit my blog at: flois.blogspot.com

Posted Image

Pookie cover me, I am going in.

#3 Pringle

Pringle

    Sergeant

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 54 posts

Posted 30 December 2002 - 04:04 PM

Hey all, just poping in to let you know I'm still around, spent -mas up my GF's...

Anyway; why not have a set of 3 different arrays for naming; 1 array would be male first names, 1 array would be female first names and a final array would be universal surnames.

Therefore a name would be generated in the following way:

Really Crap Code Outline
if soldier=male
then name=array1+array3
else name=array2+array3
end if

Alternatively you could make it a bit broader by determining the soldiers homeland and haveing 3 arrays for different countries so you would get american sounding names and russian sounding names seperate; you wouldn't end up with something like 'Gustav Jones' or 'Bob Brovlovski'

Anyway, thats my contribution for the day...
- Pringle
http://www.pringle.3lx.com/
(Redirct... The real addy is a japanese word but the auto-filter cocks it up...)

#4 ShadowHawk

ShadowHawk

    Sergeant

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 84 posts

Posted 31 December 2002 - 05:21 PM

Anyway; why not have a set of 3 different arrays for naming; 1 array would be male first names, 1 array would be female first names and a final array would be universal surnames.

Therefore a name would be generated in the following way:

Really Crap Code Outline
if soldier=male
then name=array1+array3
else name=array2+array3
end if

Alternatively you could make it a bit broader by determining the soldiers homeland and haveing 3 arrays for different countries so you would get american sounding names and russian sounding names seperate; you wouldn't end up with something like 'Gustav Jones' or 'Bob Brovlovski'

Anyway, thats my contribution for the day...

That's basically what I had in mind...with a small % chance for having a mixed ethnicity name for flavor. The advantage of selecting the model with the name is that you can have a model of an ethnicity matching the name (with variance, of course.)

Additionally we could make some names more common than others "John" should be more common than "Maximillian" for example.


An interesting thing to note with the graveyard file is that if you play for a long time with lots of fatalities the odds of getting less common/stranger names will increase slightly.
___________
ShadowHawk
Master of everything

#5 IdahoEv

IdahoEv

    Squaddie

  • Forum Members
  • PipPip
  • 2 posts

Posted 01 January 2003 - 09:09 PM

Hey wow, this is what I've already been working on.

I'm mostly just lurking, but I've been silently working on a system for soldier name generation as a little gift to the X-Com Remake community. I was going to give it as a surprise (belated) -mas present to the community in a month or two.

I've been collecting lists of names from geneology websites, categorized by frequency of appearance in the population. The code I'm working on does the following:

It takes the continent of the recruiting base as an argument. Using that, it picks a surname from a list; there are six - one for each continent. (Antartica bases will just use one of the other six at random.)

That surname is indexed to an ethnicity/nationality (i.e. German/causasian, kenyan/african, mexican/latino, french/caucasian, american/white, american/black etc...). Each of those is then indexed to a list of acceptable male and female first names.

The system will return first and last name, nationality, ethnicity and even skin color (if we want it) so we can have somewhat more accurate pictures of the soldiers.

A percentage of names will be returned "multi-ethnic" with first names and skin colors chosen more randomly relative to the surname. This number will be higher in some places than others, notably north america.

As I said, the frequency of names will reflect the actual frequency in real populations of those countries. And the lists are large - hundreds of names. The only thing I'm really tweaking is that the names used in the original X-COM will be significantly increased in frequency because I thought it would be a nice touch to hearken back to the classic game. So you'll see a fair number of soldiers named "Hans Kemp" "Marielle Colligon" "Victor Voronin" "Austin Nash" "Shigeo Yamacrapa" etc. so it will feel something like the old game.

I'm hoping it's modular enough that the programmers should be able to integrate it pretty seamlessly. Give it an int representing the continent, get back a name.

The only thing I really need to know is what language to put it in. Right now it's in Perl but I can translate it to whatever...

-Evan

#6 ShadowHawk

ShadowHawk

    Sergeant

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 84 posts

Posted 02 January 2003 - 03:45 AM

Hey wow, this is what I've already been working on...

I'm hoping it's modular enough that the programmers should be able to integrate it pretty seamlessly.  Give it an int representing the continent, get back a name.

Wow, cool. Looks like I can spare my programming time and write more story :) The only thing I would say to do is make the names list seperate from the compiled code (opened from a database file) so that they can be dynamically updated by users or mod teams or whatever without having to recompile.

Furthermore, as I pointed out, it would be nice to have the model generation (and possibly stats) done at the same time as name generation, or at least within the same class, to keep everything wrapped up in a neat little package and all.

The only thing I'm really tweaking is that the names used in the original X-COM will be significantly increased in frequency because I thought it would be a nice touch to hearken back to the classic game.  So you'll see a fair number of  soldiers named "Hans Kemp" "Marielle Colligon" "Victor Voronin" "Austin Nash" "Shigeo Yamacrapa" etc. so it will feel something like the old game.

As for the sample names you mentioned, I don't remember any of the ones you cited from the original XCOM, and I have been playing through it for the past two weeks (going through quite a bit of cannon fodder rookies). Where you not using the English version of XCOM by any chance (does that even make a difference)?
___________
ShadowHawk
Master of everything

#7 gangsta

gangsta

    Colonel

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,203 posts

Posted 02 January 2003 - 07:54 AM

Just one thing. :) There won't be an Object named soldier. Instead it would be called MOB for Moveable OBject. There really is no diffrence between a soldier object and a sectoid object except characteristics. I know it is nicer OOP design to have a character object from which a soldier and sectoid object inherit from. However, for a modable game design this is a bad idea. It is better to just have a general object that can be customized via data. Well I'm gonna have to join that mailing list now I guess
Posted Image

#8 gangsta

gangsta

    Colonel

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,203 posts

Posted 02 January 2003 - 08:00 AM

Hey wow, this is what I've already been working on.

I'm mostly just lurking, but I've been silently working on a system for soldier name generation as a little gift to the X-Com Remake community.  I was going to give it as a surprise (belated) -mas present to the community in a month or two.

I've been collecting lists of names from geneology websites, categorized by frequency of appearance in the population.  The code I'm working on does the following:

It takes the continent of the recruiting base as an argument.  Using that, it picks a surname from a list; there are six - one for each continent.  (Antartica bases will just use one of the other six at random.)

That surname is indexed to an ethnicity/nationality (i.e. German/causasian, kenyan/african, mexican/latino, french/caucasian, american/white, american/black etc...).  Each of those is then indexed to a list of acceptable male and female first names.   

The system will return first and last name, nationality, ethnicity and even skin color (if we want it) so we can have somewhat more accurate pictures of the soldiers. 

A percentage of names will be returned "multi-ethnic" with first names and skin colors chosen more randomly relative to the surname.  This number will be higher in some places than others, notably north america.

As I said, the frequency of names will reflect the actual frequency in real populations of those countries.  And the lists are large - hundreds of names.  The only thing I'm really tweaking is that the names used in the original X-COM will be significantly increased in frequency because I thought it would be a nice touch to hearken back to the classic game.  So you'll see a fair number of  soldiers named "Hans Kemp" "Marielle Colligon" "Victor Voronin" "Austin Nash" "Shigeo Yamacrapa" etc. so it will feel something like the old game.

I'm hoping it's modular enough that the programmers should be able to integrate it pretty seamlessly.  Give it an int representing the continent, get back a name.

The only thing I really need to know is what language to put it in.  Right now it's in Perl but I can translate it to whatever...

-Evan

Well :) ya guys still thinking too much coding wise when it comes to making the names. The name arrays have to be in a data file. There are also rules to naming for example for humans country wise. Aliens will probably get named and some could be genderless. The reason this is more complicated is that we are writing a modable engine here. The X-Com game really is the only mod we are woried about now. But someone else could make a space rpg type game with our engine where his group could be made up of diffrent species besides human. We are not woried about any of that except making it possible to mod the game in such ways that that is possible. Likewise the Geoscope is part of a layered system where the geoscope could be replaced with a planetscape.
Posted Image

#9 Guest_Guest_*

Guest_Guest_*
  • Guests

Posted 02 January 2003 - 05:44 PM

The only thing I would say to do is make the names list seperate from the compiled code (opened from a database file) so that they can be dynamically updated by users or mod teams or whatever without having to recompile.


Not a problem. I'll put as much of the information as possible into the file(s) to make it as moddable as possible. I'll also make the file(s) self-documenting so they're easy to edit.

as I pointed out, it would be nice to have the model generation (and possibly stats) done at the same time as name generation, or at least within the same class


This will just be a method you can stick in the MOB object. Stats generation can be the next line in the MOB constructor, but someone else will write it.

Since you mentioned it I'll extend it so that alien names will be compatible as well. So it'll probably take two arguments: species and continent. (Maybe a third: sex, so you can generate that outside of the name code.) There'll be six continents defined in the file for humans, only one for each alien species.

I don't remember any of the ones you cited from the original XCOM ...


Weird. I can't really play it on VirtualPC well (I'm mostly a mac guy; no PC around), but I was just running the plain 1.2 I downloaded from this site. I opened up a new game and copied down half of the names in my starting group of soldiers. I don't have any other explanation...

If someone wants to email me the names extracted from the original game, that'd be cool... send it to xcom@lrdesign.com

Cheers,
Evan

#10 Jumjalum

Jumjalum

    Sergeant

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 24 posts

Posted 04 January 2003 - 03:02 PM

You should do what they did in Black & White for villager names, it goes into your Outlook address book and takes the names of your contacts for your villagers. Well, I read in a review that it did that but I havent been playing long enough to actually find a familiar name.

#11 Whatever

Whatever

    Sergeant

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 91 posts

Posted 18 January 2003 - 10:21 AM

Is there any word from IdahoEv?? I had just thought,. that probalby the only thing i'm capable of doing is gathering soldier names. Can't program or anything. But now i saw IdahoEv had pretty much done it already.

I was wondering, is it still neccesary to collect soldier names and put them in some kind of database?

I'd love to collect names. As long as anybody who knows about the programming (red knight, gangsta, shadowhank, etc.) tells me how to present the names to you.

#12 red knight

red knight

    Xenocide Project Leader

  • Xenocide Inactive
  • 3,310 posts

Posted 19 January 2003 - 03:40 AM

Is there any word from IdahoEv?? I had just thought,. that probalby the only thing i'm capable of doing is gathering soldier names. Can't program or anything. But now i saw IdahoEv had pretty much done it already.

I was wondering, is it still neccesary to collect soldier names and put them in some kind of database?

I'd love to collect names. As long as anybody who knows about the programming (red knight, gangsta, shadowhank, etc.) tells me how to present the names to you.

First take a look at Shadowhawk's tech tree, you will find an very easy format there... Then find out what attributes do you need for names, like gender, etc... and try to figure out how to write down the database if not just use some DB format (you can even use access) and i will try to convert it to a format like Shadowhawk's one....

Greetings
Red Knight
Sourceforge Nick: flois - Federico Andres Lois
Visit my blog at: flois.blogspot.com

Posted Image

Pookie cover me, I am going in.

#13 Maverick

Maverick

    Creative Text Department

  • Xenocide Programming Department
  • 619 posts

Posted 19 January 2003 - 04:05 AM

I think you should limit which soldiers can be promoted though, because normally at least two soldiers stayed in the skyranger. If I could promote those two soldiers just for heading off to battle and not actually seeing any action...i dunno. it doesn't seem "right" as corny as that sounds. It always seemed to me that the soldiers I used the most were the ones that got promotions...i kinda liked that.

#14 Whatever

Whatever

    Sergeant

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 91 posts

Posted 19 January 2003 - 10:32 AM

Does anybody know in which datafile the soldiers name are?? Can't seem to find them.

Thanks

#15 gangsta

gangsta

    Colonel

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,203 posts

Posted 20 January 2003 - 06:51 AM

I think you should limit which soldiers can be promoted though, because normally at least two soldiers stayed in the skyranger.  If I could promote those two soldiers just for heading off to battle and not actually seeing any action...i dunno.  it doesn't seem "right" as corny as that sounds.  It always seemed to me that the soldiers I used the most were the ones that got promotions...i kinda liked that.

That's not how it works in the real world.. That's why I think in X-Com you can have someone who been in one battle and killed 1 or 0 aliens stay at a base from then on and keep getting promotions. I notices the original game likes promoting people that seem :) to have a desk job at the base.
Posted Image

#16 red knight

red knight

    Xenocide Project Leader

  • Xenocide Inactive
  • 3,310 posts

Posted 20 January 2003 - 08:44 AM

I think you should limit which soldiers can be promoted though, because normally at least two soldiers stayed in the skyranger.  If I could promote those two soldiers just for heading off to battle and not actually seeing any action...i dunno.  it doesn't seem "right" as corny as that sounds.  It always seemed to me that the soldiers I used the most were the ones that got promotions...i kinda liked that.

That's not how it works in the real world.. That's why I think in X-Com you can have someone who been in one battle and killed 1 or 0 aliens stay at a base from then on and keep getting promotions. I notices the original game likes promoting people that seem :) to have a desk job at the base.

Welcome to real life :P

Greetings
Red Knight
Sourceforge Nick: flois - Federico Andres Lois
Visit my blog at: flois.blogspot.com

Posted Image

Pookie cover me, I am going in.

#17 Maverick

Maverick

    Creative Text Department

  • Xenocide Programming Department
  • 619 posts

Posted 20 January 2003 - 02:46 PM

I musta had a different version...in mine the guy that was lying there bleeding with a wounded leg after he killed 3 sectoids and grenaded another two all by his lonesome after his partners were killed picked up a bit of a promotion. The function of rank in the original was solely attached to morale. having someone with high rank with you on a mission automatically increased the total morale, and decreased the chance of panic. However, if someone of high rank died, it had a devastating effect on morale. (that's why my high ranking officers became psionic gods and blasterlauncher extrordinair)

#18 gangsta

gangsta

    Colonel

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,203 posts

Posted 21 January 2003 - 06:13 AM

The people who are the generals in the real world usually aren't the bravest soldiers out there. In real life your guy getting hurt wouldn't effect his promotion status but instead he would get a nice little purple heart :) and if he is hurt enough a discharge.
Posted Image

#19 Maverick

Maverick

    Creative Text Department

  • Xenocide Programming Department
  • 619 posts

Posted 21 January 2003 - 12:46 PM

I'm well aware of how rank works in the real world, I guess I was just asking function rank is going to hold in the game. If it doesn't mean anything than sure, we can use it however you want. But if it means something than I think there ought to be a bit of a requirement to passing it out.

#20 Guest_Spaceman42_*

Guest_Spaceman42_*
  • Guests

Posted 21 January 2003 - 08:00 PM

I found the chunks of text that hold the "soldier names" for UFO, TFTD, and Apoc - but they're too long to type, don't copy, and too ugly for screenshotting.

Basically, just do a search in the .exe for "Smith" or "Crossett". You should get 'em from there...

#21 gangsta

gangsta

    Colonel

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,203 posts

Posted 22 January 2003 - 10:18 AM

ok I just had to delete the namelist. we can't just ripout data from the original game because that is illegal and would kill our project in court.
Posted Image

#22 Maverick

Maverick

    Creative Text Department

  • Xenocide Programming Department
  • 619 posts

Posted 22 January 2003 - 12:45 PM

how many names do you want and in what format? I'll try and get name blocks from all over the world and could separate them into different files if necessary. Just tell me how many of each kind of name you'll need and what format would be easiest to use.

#23 red knight

red knight

    Xenocide Project Leader

  • Xenocide Inactive
  • 3,310 posts

Posted 22 January 2003 - 02:38 PM

how many names do you want and in what format?  I'll try and get name blocks from all over the world and could separate them into different files if necessary.  Just tell me how many of each kind of name you'll need and what format would be easiest to use.

Take a look at ShadowHawks format... that will inspired you in a format for the names database... The idea is to have a standarized way with different formats for the data we recollect.

Greetings
Red Knight
Sourceforge Nick: flois - Federico Andres Lois
Visit my blog at: flois.blogspot.com

Posted Image

Pookie cover me, I am going in.

#24 ShadowHawk

ShadowHawk

    Sergeant

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 84 posts

Posted 22 January 2003 - 04:06 PM

I suppose this is a good time to talk about my idea for the medal system.

Basically, one of the cool things with the original was to get attached to paritcular soldiers. The ability to manually assign promotions, mentioned above, helps further this. Another feature that enhanced this aspect was the growth of soldiers through their stats - we should definately expand upon this system (and remove some of the quirks, such as people training at the end of missions by throwing stuff around for no reason).

However, no one could possibly remember all of their soldiers stats down to the level of detail that they actually change in the game, which is why a summarization method is needed. Scott T Jones wonderful utility, XCOMUTIL, helps out with this by automatically renaming soldiers in XCOM to distinguish them - those with more than 60 firing accuracy are designated with a /m, for example.

We could further expand upon this idea, except instead of renaming the troops, we would have the game automatically assign them a medal, which would appear on top of the rank insignia in the battlescape (as well as in the soldier view). I can't take screenshots of XCOM at the moment (they always come out black), but I can modify a good battlescape screenshot if someone will provide me with one to show exactly what I mean.

This would further personalize the soldiers and give them more character - John Doe the anonymous guy who became Seargent after getting lucky on a mission would become John Doe, the one awarded an accuracy badge for marksmanship and a marker for high endurance and strength, the man who earned the purple heart for surviving a grevious wound and still persevering, the man who became promoted to Seargent after doing particularly well for the player on a mission.

Also, since it sucks when highly personalized troops die, I propose slightly modifying the existing statistics system by giving distinguished troops additional health. I propose giving 2 health points per rank earned (So a Squaddie would have +2 hp, a Seargent +4, etc) and 1 health point per medal (so a marksman would have +1, a brave marksman would have +2, a brave supermarksman would have +3, etc) This will increase the number of instances in the game where your star, personal favorite soldier gets wounded, but not killed - leading to more coolness.
___________
ShadowHawk
Master of everything

#25 Guest_Spaceman42_*

Guest_Spaceman42_*
  • Guests

Posted 22 January 2003 - 04:31 PM

About the names - I don't think you can own a copyright on *names*. Sure, if you use *only* the names from the original games, it'd be infringement - but I doubt that if the names were included in the database, it'd be infringement. After all, it's not like phone books are copyrighted sources of names...

#26 red knight

red knight

    Xenocide Project Leader

  • Xenocide Inactive
  • 3,310 posts

Posted 22 January 2003 - 05:58 PM

About the names - I don't think you can own a copyright on *names*. Sure, if you use *only* the names from the original games, it'd be infringement - but I doubt that if the names were included in the database, it'd be infringement. After all, it's not like phone books are copyrighted sources of names...

Nope, names are not copyrighted... but you openly said: they were ripped from the executable file of XCom... that why your post get deleted, we are a little paranoid because nobody here wants to close this wonderful project, all of us want an Xcom like game to play...

Greetings
Red Knight
Sourceforge Nick: flois - Federico Andres Lois
Visit my blog at: flois.blogspot.com

Posted Image

Pookie cover me, I am going in.

#27 Guest_Guest_*

Guest_Guest_*
  • Guests

Posted 22 January 2003 - 06:02 PM

There is this law in the US we all have to watch out for called the DMCA.

#28 Guest_Spaceman42_*

Guest_Spaceman42_*
  • Guests

Posted 22 January 2003 - 10:44 PM

Hmm. I'll put the names up on my site [over the weekend, probably] in a tabulated file.

[Of course, not ripped *directly* from the game! Workarounds, workarounds...]

#29 gangsta

gangsta

    Colonel

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,203 posts

Posted 23 January 2003 - 09:05 AM

I suppose this is a good time to talk about my idea for the medal system.

Basically, one of the cool things with the original was to get attached to paritcular soldiers.  The ability to manually assign promotions, mentioned above, helps further this.  Another feature that enhanced this aspect was the growth of soldiers through their stats - we should definately expand upon this system (and remove some of the quirks, such as people training at the end of missions by throwing stuff around for no reason).

However, no one could possibly remember all of their soldiers stats down to the level of detail that they actually change in the game, which is why a summarization method is needed.  Scott T Jones wonderful utility, XCOMUTIL, helps out with this by automatically renaming soldiers in XCOM to distinguish them - those with more than 60 firing accuracy are designated with a /m, for example.

We could further expand upon this idea, except instead of renaming the troops, we would have the game automatically assign them a medal, which would appear on top of the rank insignia in the battlescape (as well as in the soldier view).  I can't take screenshots of XCOM at the moment (they always come out black), but I can modify a good battlescape screenshot if someone will provide me with one to show exactly what I mean.

This would further personalize the soldiers and give them more character - John Doe the anonymous guy who became Seargent after getting lucky on a mission would become John Doe, the one awarded an accuracy badge for marksmanship and a marker for high endurance and strength, the man who earned the purple heart for surviving a grevious wound and still persevering, the man who became promoted to Seargent after doing particularly well for the player on a mission.

Also, since it sucks when highly personalized troops die, I propose slightly modifying the existing statistics system by giving distinguished troops additional health.  I propose giving 2 health points per rank earned (So a Squaddie would have +2 hp, a Seargent +4, etc) and 1 health point per medal (so a marksman would have +1, a brave marksman would have +2,  a brave supermarksman would have +3, etc)  This will increase the number of instances in the game where your star, personal favorite soldier gets wounded, but not killed - leading to more coolness.

metal system sounds cool.. I also though that whenever you move the mouse over a soldier their main stats could appear above them and about doing other things to easily access that information.
Posted Image

#30 gangsta

gangsta

    Colonel

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,203 posts

Posted 23 January 2003 - 09:08 AM

Hmm. I'll put the names up on my site [over the weekend, probably] in a tabulated file.

[Of course, not ripped *directly* from the game! Workarounds, workarounds...]

you're going about this the wrong way. Why use names from the game anyway? It would be better to get a public database of names and use that.. What we really want is names that we can also associate to countries around the world. The X-Com name database was kinda limited and I don't see it as that great that we have to base our names off of it.
Posted Image

#31 Guest_Spaceman42_*

Guest_Spaceman42_*
  • Guests

Posted 23 January 2003 - 05:42 PM



You have a point there, but I was thinking more along the lines of "give these names a higher probability of being picked" - 'nostalgia factor', so to speak - as was previously brought up. NOT using them exclusively.

#32 gangsta

gangsta

    Colonel

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,203 posts

Posted 24 January 2003 - 09:21 AM

well honestly :) those weren't the most common of names so that wouldn't make sense. You'd expect to se alot of Alex, John, Tim, Bill, and so forth coming from the US for instance.
Posted Image

#33 Whatever

Whatever

    Sergeant

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 91 posts

Posted 24 January 2003 - 12:30 PM

That's right for sure, but a whole lot of others things would be different if we were going to reinvent the whole game....

Anyway ditch the original names as far as i'm concerned, but i think there are a couple of people, who are quite nostalgic about them... Or am i completely wrong??

#34 Fatal_Error

Fatal_Error

    Captain

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 307 posts

Posted 24 January 2003 - 12:32 PM

i could provide u with estonian and a bit less russian names :)
THE BEST SIG EVER!!!

#35 gangsta

gangsta

    Colonel

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,203 posts

Posted 24 January 2003 - 12:35 PM

That's right for sure, but a whole lot of others things would be different if we were going to reinvent the whole game....

Anyway ditch the original names as far as i'm concerned, but i think there are a couple of people, who are quite nostalgic about them... Or am i completely wrong??

From what I hear ;) most people on this board rename the names anyway to include the stats and all sorts of zany stuff. Although we would have a better interface so you wouldn't need to do that kinda stuff.
Posted Image

#36 Maverick

Maverick

    Creative Text Department

  • Xenocide Programming Department
  • 619 posts

Posted 24 January 2003 - 02:31 PM

When I was asking about format I was more meaning like what filetype and syntax should a namelist follow. Once I know that I'll compile a list of names and talk to some CSE and CPE's around here and figure out how to put a bit of code to it so it all makes sense. I'm striving to have some realistic names to give a decent representation of a truly multinational organization of soldiers...so when I really get to work on it I'll be asking for suggestions from people who don't live in the US (despite the diverse culture we have here, names are still pretty standard...)

#37 red knight

red knight

    Xenocide Project Leader

  • Xenocide Inactive
  • 3,310 posts

Posted 24 January 2003 - 04:39 PM

When I was asking about format I was more meaning like what filetype and syntax should a namelist follow.  Once I know that I'll compile a list of names and talk to some CSE and CPE's around here and figure out how to put a bit of code to it so it all makes sense.  I'm striving to have some realistic names to give a decent representation of a truly multinational organization of soldiers...so when I really get to work on it I'll be asking for suggestions from people who don't live in the US (despite the diverse culture we have here, names are still pretty standard...)

Well you could divide the countries as Oriental, Latin (Spain, and Mexico and down to Argentina), Sajon (i dont know if that is the word... US, Europe and Australia) then you can have a bigger probability to find a "Juan Gonzales" in Latin Countries than in the Sajon Countries. You can add country origin to the soldiers...

Greetings
Red Knight
Sourceforge Nick: flois - Federico Andres Lois
Visit my blog at: flois.blogspot.com

Posted Image

Pookie cover me, I am going in.

#38 Guest_stewart_*

Guest_stewart_*
  • Guests

Posted 24 January 2003 - 10:56 PM

Uh . . . . look up table?

#39 red knight

red knight

    Xenocide Project Leader

  • Xenocide Inactive
  • 3,310 posts

Posted 25 January 2003 - 03:45 AM

Uh . . . . look up table?

Dont know what you mean about a look up table?... It will be a First Name and Last Name database with attributes like origin and that.

Greetings
Red Knight
Sourceforge Nick: flois - Federico Andres Lois
Visit my blog at: flois.blogspot.com

Posted Image

Pookie cover me, I am going in.

#40 Whatever

Whatever

    Sergeant

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 91 posts

Posted 25 January 2003 - 09:10 AM

Hey Maverick

I had picked up the plan to compile a datbase with names, but well.... I just don't know anything about programming etc... Besides i read that you already had a database. So what about when i make a list with names from (at least from the EU) Europe.

Then i give them tot you in Access if you can read that. And you put it toghether with the other participations??

You can do the english sounding names. And hopefully Fatal Error can provide some Russian/Estonian names that way we already have a pretty complete list.

I was thinking about 300 surnames and 400 first names(200 male and 200 female or should that be 200/100?)

I'm have made a distribution (next post).

#41 Whatever

Whatever

    Sergeant

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 91 posts

Posted 25 January 2003 - 10:00 AM

I have made a little setup, to guide the name generation. I know it more difficult to find names from some countries than it is for other. Still this is my idea, if maverick still wants tot do this and wants to do this, this way, we have a go. If it sounds like crap to anybody please give me feedback.

continent...............% ---> the percentage of the total names come from this continent.
...............language% ---> the percentage is the part of the names in the continent that come from that language.



Continent ……………… %

N.America ……………… 22

……………… English 60
……………… Spanish 25
……………… African 5
……………… Jewish 10
-----------------------------
S.America ……………… 11

……………… Spanish 80
……………… Portugese20
-----------------------------
Europe ……………… 22

……………… English 15
……………… German 15
……………… French 15
……………… Spanish 10
……………… Italian 5
……………… Russian 10
……………… EasT. Eur. 20
……………… Other 10
-----------------------------
Africa ……………… 11

……………… English 50
……………… French 20
……………… African 30
-----------------------------
Asia ……………… 22

……………… Japanese 30
……………… Chinese 20
……………… Russian 30
……………… Arabic 10
……………… Other 10
-----------------------------
Oceania ……………… 11

……………… English 70
……………… Aboriginal 10
……………… Indonesian20

#42 Fatal_Error

Fatal_Error

    Captain

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 307 posts

Posted 25 January 2003 - 10:20 AM

ok if u need i can supply u with lots and lots of estonian and russian names though estonian names lead to a dilemma: estonia is such a small country that it's highly unlikely that any agents come from there but on the other hand it's my home and im proud of it :D so whats it gonna be? oh and i can also provide u with enough finnish names and a few latvian and lithuanian names :)
THE BEST SIG EVER!!!

#43 Whatever

Whatever

    Sergeant

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 91 posts

Posted 25 January 2003 - 10:44 AM

As far as i'm concerned (maybe a offence to you, russian and estonian names are quite alike and there will be few people who are going to see the difference. But i'm also from a small couintry (The Netherlands) and that's why a took into account 10% "other"in Europe ;)

But if you could wait until other people agree with the plan, than we can start gathering names....

Thanks!

#44 Fatal_Error

Fatal_Error

    Captain

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 307 posts

Posted 25 January 2003 - 11:11 AM

As far as i'm concerned (maybe a offence to you, russian and estonian names are quite alike and there will be few people who are going to see the difference. But i'm also from a small couintry (The Netherlands) and that's why a took into account 10% "other"in Europe ;)

But if you could wait until other people agree with the plan, than we can start gathering names....

Thanks!

w00t!?! estonian and russian names are alike??? H.ELL NO TEHY AINT!!! :angry:

they are in fact very different but there are so many russians living in estonia that u may think that names that are actually russian are estonian too but their really NOOOT!!!

i for example have quite an old estonian name that is nothing like russian names and thus i am offended by your reply :angry:

*exits this forum slamming the door behind him*
THE BEST SIG EVER!!!

#45 red knight

red knight

    Xenocide Project Leader

  • Xenocide Inactive
  • 3,310 posts

Posted 25 January 2003 - 12:27 PM

I had added the names database layout in the data module on sourceforge for the ones that will be in charge of making it...
For the ones that do not have a sourceforge account you can still download it anonymously via PServer from the CVS...

This is the command you have to execute

cvs -d:pserver:anonymous@cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/xenocide login

cvs -z3 -d:pserver:anonymous@cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/xenocide checkout data

if you have a sourceforge account, then change anonymous for the account name.

For the ones that do not have been added to sourceforge send me your changes and i will commit them for you.

Greetings
Red Knight
Sourceforge Nick: flois - Federico Andres Lois
Visit my blog at: flois.blogspot.com

Posted Image

Pookie cover me, I am going in.

#46 gangsta

gangsta

    Colonel

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,203 posts

Posted 25 January 2003 - 01:18 PM

well the name thing should be country specific. I'm sure the names are diffrent in Pakistan vs. India

Fact look at north america. Names will greatly differ between Canada, US, and Mexico. Canada you might not have many spanish sounding names but instead french names. Also Black names in the US are not nessarially African names. US is very complex name wise.
Posted Image

#47 LordT

LordT

    Captain

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 715 posts

Posted 25 January 2003 - 01:19 PM

>Whatever

What about north european names? <_< Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, and Finland does alot more for the UN than the east-european contries. No offence but I thought we were going to be a little reality-like...
Take your time and submit a name to the Names Database.

Resistance is futile! (if < 1 ohm)

#48 Whatever

Whatever

    Sergeant

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 91 posts

Posted 25 January 2003 - 01:20 PM

Gangsta

SURE! But do you want to make it THAT realistic??

I think that just plain impossible, the UN counts 191 countries , if you want to take names from every country..... That's why i made this rough scheme. Do you agree with it? Or do you have any suggestions?

#49 Whatever

Whatever

    Sergeant

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 91 posts

Posted 25 January 2003 - 01:23 PM

LORDT:

You're probalby right, i was taking those countries into account in the 10% other. But my idea was, to have names that"sound like they are from a region. As i posted before, we can't have names from every country in the UN. But few people are going to tell, a norwegian name from a swedish probably.
But of course we'll put in names from the countries the makers are in.

#50 LordT

LordT

    Captain

  • Forum Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 715 posts

Posted 25 January 2003 - 01:23 PM

SURE! But do you want to make it THAT realistic??

I think that just plain impossible, the UN counts 191 countries , if you want to take names from every country..... That's why i made this rough scheme. Do you agree with it? Or do you have any suggestions?

How about splitting those 20 that the East got and give that 10 to the North?
Take your time and submit a name to the Names Database.

Resistance is futile! (if < 1 ohm)